Leave NGF Issues, Go To Your States And Work, Ononuju Urges Governors

A public Affairs analyst, Katch Ononuju has said the controversies which followed the chairmanship election of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) is distracting political office holders from discharging their constitutional responsibilities.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Ononuju advised all parties should ‘go back to the constitution’ to resolve their differences.

He said the governors are engaged in scheming out their colleagues from other states that they neglect their constitutional duties.

“I also will advise Nigerians to insist that their governors should go back to the states and deliver because I was in Ikeja (in Lagos) last night, from Opebi down to Alade Market I counted over 84 poles and I saw on those 84 poles only eight bulbs working.

“This shows part of that distraction that the governors’ forum provides. Governor should go home and provide the dividend of democracy.”

PDP Governors’ Forum Is Illegal – Lawyer

A lawyer and member of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Harvey Ideozu on Wednesday said the formation of the PDP Governors Forum chaired by the Akwa Ibom State governor, Godswill Akpabio is “clearly in breach of article 21.1j of the PDP constitution which prohibits the formation of any body under the guise of the party.”

Mr Ideozu disclosed this in a telephone interview during Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.

While prescribing sanction for members found to belong to bodies under the guise of the PDP, Mr Ideozu said the PDP governors are allowed to form any association but should not label it PDP Governors forum.

“Any member of the party will be disciplined that belongs to any group under the guise of the party,” he said.

Article 21.1j of the PDP constitution holds that “subject to the provisions of this constitution, the party shall have power to discipline member who promotes factions or belongs to any group under guise of the party and by whatever name called not being one provided for in this constitution.”

Other Governors Have Forsaken Amaechi – Ononuju

A public Affairs analyst, Katch Ononuju has said that other members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) have abandoned the Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi and purported winner of the forum’s chairmanship election.

Mr Ononuju, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily on Wednesday, quoted a local newspaper where the All Progressives Congress (APC) was reported to have confessed with Governor Amaechi to use the NGF election to ‘disgrace’ President Goodluck Jonathan and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).

He said when Governor Amaechi called a meeting yesterday (Tuesday), “nobody is with him. All those people you said voted or not voted when Governor Jang called his meeting, they are there.”

There has been intense scheming in the NGF, an association composed of the 36 governors in Nigeria, after its election for a new chairman. The Director General of the governors forum, who served as the returning officer at the election had announced that Governor Amaechi polled 19 of the 35 votes casted while his only opponents and Plateau state Governor, Jonah Jang polled 16 votes.

Anticipating there might be controversies from the election, the Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola had secretly taped the voting and counting process – a short video clip already being circulated online.

In Mr Ononuju’s opinion, the video was doctored and may not represent what really happened in the conference room of the Rivers State Governor’s Lodge, Abuja, venue of the controversial election.

The analyst said the action of Mr Amaechi, who has vowed not to step aside for Mr Jang is disrespectful to the PDP.

“The PDP has found that it has within its rank members who have now turned themselves into rogue agents. These rogue agents like a virus beginning to affect the body of the party so the party moves to bring discipline. If it does not discipline these people who have now gone rogue, they might infect the body of the party,” Mr Ononuju said.

He said the PDP sees Governor Amaechi as a rogue agent who has “gone to contest; has gone to play a play with the opposition in a way other than the way mandated by the party because the party brought out Governor Jang as the consensus candidate he (Amaechi) now seems to be sponsored by the opposition.”

Not PDP Affairs

Joining the conversation on a telephone from Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, a lawyer and member of the PDP, Harvey Ideozu said whatever happens in the NGF is not a business of the PDP.

“The Nigeria Governors Forum is not an organ of the PDP neither is it a public office,” he said.

Contradicting Mr Ononuju’s earlier position of the PDP preferring Governor Jang as Chairman of the governors’ forum, Mr Ideozu said there is no provision in the party’s constitution for nominating persons interested in contesting for the chairmanship of the NGF.

He said, “There is no organ of the PDP that has said the election in the governors’ forum should be conducted in a particular manner or that any particular candidate should run or should not run.

“What we find now is that we are in a dangerous situation where it is possible that certain individual are manipulating the party and using the name of the party to force their personal position.”

According to the lawyer, the agreement to appoint a Chairman by consensus was not a general position reached by the NGF as a whole but by a faction of the body.

PDP Governors’ Forum

Mr Ideozu said the formation of the PDP Governors Forum chaired by the Akwa Ibom State governor, Godswill Akpabio is “clearly in breach of article 21.1j of the PDP constitution which prohibits the formation of any body under the guise of the party.”

While prescribing sanction for members found to belong to bodies under the guise of the PDP, Mr Ideozu said the PDP governors are allowed to form any association but should not label it PDP Governors forum.

“Any member of the party will be disciplined that belongs to any group under the guise of the party,” he said.

Article 21.1j of the PDP constitution holds that “subject to the provisions of this constitution, the party shall have power to discipline member who promotes factions or belongs to any group under guise of the party and by whatever name called not being one provided for in this constitution.”

Watch the complete interview with Messrs Ononuju and Ideozu in the video below:

Jonathan Will Surpass His Development Target By 2015 – Salami

The Director of Media in the Office of the Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs, Bamidele Salami has said that with the indices from the mid-term report, the president is set to surpass his target.

The Director of Media in the Office of the Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs, Bamidele Salami

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Salami listed the sectors that experienced transformation to include Agriculture, Foreign Direct Investment and Power.

“When this government came on board, it was confronted with some challenges of inadequate generation of power, problems of transmission and inadequate infrastructure for the distribution of power,” he said.

He added that the Jonathan’s administration has “within two years almost double the capacity of this country to generate electricity. The government met a little below 3000MW, today we are doing about 4500MW.”

President Jonathan last Wednesday presented the performance report of his administration in its first two years in office.

The president said two ministries – National Planning and Trade and Investment, were among the ministries which had performed the most in the two years under review.

According to him, the performance of the two ministers in the last two years was unprecedented, adding that the Minister of Trade and Investment has attracted many businesses to the country, in spite of security challenges.

Before launching the 234-page document, entitled “The Mid-term Report of the Transformation Agenda 2011 — 2103,” the president pleaded with those who wanted to assess his government to be sure that they had a well-developed set of criteria to carry out such assessment objectively.

NAMA Boss Says Nigerian Airspace Is Safer

The Managing Director of the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Nnamdi Udoh has reassured travellers of a safer air travel in the country.

Mr Udoh, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, advised travellers that boarded an aircraft that could not land due to poor weather condition to “walk up to the pilot and inquire why he did not get destination weather, did he not get briefed on weather before departure?”

He said this is important “because it is now mandatory for every pilot to go and get from the aeronautical information services’ operational office weather briefs, enroute and destination to be able to fly comfortably and arrive safely.”

Mr Udoh said the Nigerian aviation industry is compliant with the global standards as far as metrological information is concerned.

“The Nigerian Metrological Agency, recently got ISO9001 certified so you must be sure that the data our metrological agency gives out are correct,” he said.

The NAMA boss said a second development that has restored confidence in the country’s airspace is the strengthening of air traffic regulations by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

He said, “The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority has strengthen its general aviation arm; has strengthen its ramp inspection in ensuring that airlines do maintenance as required and are properly supervised.”

Watch the full video with Mr Udoh, who listed other criteria for expressing confidence in Nigeria air travel.

Agbaje Says Emergency Rule Will Alter Existing Legal Order

Lawyer and public affairs analyst, Fred Agbaje has said that the imposition of state of emergency on some troubled northern states is comparable to a military coups d’état.

Mr Agbaje, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise daily, said President Goodluck Jonathan did the right thing by not suspending constitutionally elected officials while declaring the emergency rule.

He however said in principle when the President declared a state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, “the existing legal order must give way to the new one because the two cannot operate pari passu or concomitantly.”

Mr Agbaje said President Jonathan should have suspended the executive and legislative arms of government in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states while the state of emergency lasted.

He said though the Nigerian constitution does not empower the President to sack democratically elected officials, it also did not say that the president cannot remove these officials from office during a state of emergency.

Default Mode of Nigerians Is Fraud – Lawyer

A lawyer, Kenneth Odidika on Wednesday said that corruption is so widespread in Nigeria that the default mode of the citizens of this country is fraud.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Odidika said the declaration of emergency rule in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states following the incessant violent attacks in these areas is a good move by President Goodluck Jonathan.

The lawyer blamed corruption as responsible for the proliferation of illegal weapons especially those in the control of the rebel groups in Northern Nigeria.

He said, “Our default mode as Nigerians is fraud. These arms and ammunitions are not invincible; they don’t come to Nigeria and then materialize. They are brought in through our borders and I can assure you some of the borders are not even the ones we talk about in Yobe and Adamawa. I’m talking about through our ports and we have Customs people there.”

Speaking on the state of emergency declared on three troubled states in the North, Mr Odidika said this is a sign that President Jonathan is not weak and should serve as a warning to other state governments that have not been able to curtail violence in their domain.

He said, “By virtual of what he did yesterday (Tuesday), it is obvious now to those who thought he couldn’t act that this man could actually act and he could bite.

“If what has happened in Kano continuous, chances is that he will take the same action and even more drastic one.”

Criminologist Says Kano Also Qualifies For Emergency Rule

A Professor of Criminology, Femi Odekunle has said the declaration of emergency rule in three northern states by President Goodluck Jonathan should have included Kano.

Mr Odekunle, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, said the president took the right step by declaring emergency rule in an area occupied by some people who are waging war against the state.

He said, “I thought there must be some criteria for declaring a state of emergency on any part of the country. And I was thinking, from all indications, why is Kano for example excluded because Kano had suffered in terms of quantum and quality of terrorist damage like the other states.”

Mr Odekunle argued that based on the frequency of attacks in Kano, President Jonathan should have included it among Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states that are currently under emergency rule.

In what appeared to be about the boldest step taken by the Federal Government in tackling the insurgency in the northern part of Nigeria, President Jonathan on Tuesday declared a state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.

The President said the state of emergency is a necessary step to halt the insurgency of the dreaded Boko Haram members who have turned down the offer of dialogue and amnesty extended to them by the Federal Government.

Watch the full interview with Mr Odekunle below:

Nigeria Is At War, Government Ill-Prepared To Fight – Falana

Right activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana on Monday said the presence situation in the country is nothing short of a full blown war.

Mr Falana, who was a guest on Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily, said a situation where a clash between terrorists and security operatives led to the death of over 187 people; where unknown cultist ambush and slaughter over 40 police officers; and where a Supreme Court Judge is presently looking for his wife, child and driver can be nothing short of war.

“There is a war everywhere; that is why as Nigerians, we cannot afford to leave the Federal Government to fight this war; they cannot,” he said.
Mr Falana said though the country is facing a huge war it is ill-prepared to fight.

“These boys have more sophisticated weapon than our armed forces,” he said.

The lawyer said the Federal Government is playing politics with the fight against terrorism by not providing the police with adequate equipment to fight insurgents and criminals.

He said, “A lot of money was budget for security and defence this year, what has happened to the fund if by the middle of May you haven’t passed the budget? It is tantamount to shedding crocodile tears if we simply express regret anytime policemen or soldiers are killed when we didn’t armed them, when we didn’t sufficiently equip them.

“How many of our soldiers and policemen have learnt anything about counter-terrorism? It is a new terrain. How many of them are trained to fight or participate in guerrilla warfare because that is what is going on.

“Are we saying we are so poor that we cannot acquire helicopters to conduct aerial surveillance on a daily basis in these areas?

“Do you know that the policemen and most of the soldiers sent to combat these boys have no bullet proof? It is that bad. You just simply give them Ak47.”

Expert Lists Factor Responsible For Building Collapse

The President, Building Collapse Prevention Guild, Kunle Awobodu on Thursday said the frequent collapse of building in the country is “an aberration that has dented the image of construction professionals in Nigeria.”

Mr Awobodu, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, one of the major problems with buildings in Nigeria is that owners of structures do not conduct soil test before commencement of construction work.

The spokesperson for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), South west zone, Ibrahim Farinloye had on Wednesday confirmed to Channels Television that about 36 deficient buildings in Lagos have been reported to them.

In the video below, Mr Awobodu listed some other factors responsible for collapse of building and what the government, construction professionals and individual property owners can do to prevent building collapse.